Monday, June 9, 2014

Object of the Day: Rumford Chemical Works Baking Powder

Click on image to get a closer look.

Nothing says home-baked goodness like “Chemical Works.”

The front of this handsome, and atypically large, trade card is printed with a very Rembrandt-y portrait of a curly-locked tot of indeterminate gender. The work of The Major & Knapp Lithography of New York, the card is copyrighted 1884 by the Rumford Chemical Works.

So, what could this be advertising? Oil? Cleaning solution? Soap? Insecticide?


Baking powder.

How can this be? Let’s see what they say: 


The Healthful and Nutritious 

Baking Powder. 

It is recommended and used by the leading Physicians 
and Chemists, and its use is positively 
Beneficial to Health. 

Phosphate of lime is an essential constituent of all grains, and
is an important nutritive principle and indispensable element in the
construction of all the animal tissues.
     In the process of bolting fine wheat flour, a large portion of the
phosphates are lost.
     This Powder supplies the phosphates, this rendering the bread,
biscuit, etc., healthful and nutritious. 

 No other Baking Powder in the world ever received such high
commendation from eminent authorities. 


     Sift the Powder and Flour thoroughly together before wetting.
     Have the oven HOT before mixing the dough.
     Mix the dough as quickly as possible, and put it into the oven immediately. The
quicker this is done, the better the result. 


Send to Rumford Chemical Works, Providence, R.I., for the Horsford Almanac 
And Cook Book.

Wow! What specific instructions! Next time I try to bake something, I'll make the oven vaguely HOT and then work as fast as I can. I wonder what the little child on the front of the card would say. Nothing, I suppose, since he or she would likely be very disinterested.

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